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erutan

Unlimited ammo a good thing?

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I've honestly been enjoying the replicating ammunition bug... at first just because it seemed to slightly balance out the disappearing equipment one, but I've come to realize (with the rockets and missiles) that manufacturing ammunition just isn't that enjoyable and I don't really miss it at all. Weapons, armor, tanks, jets, bases, building - they have more strategic intent to them.

One of the very "XCOM" moments is when the majority of squad has laser rifles, and you're scrounging around for heavy plasma clips, looting corpses in battle, only kitting out a favorite officer or two with HP. Then that moment when your whole squad (more or less) is using them and you feel like you've "made it". It's a classic feeling, but is it really worth replicating?

Given that laser and rifle both require ammo, given that you can't use enemy clips... manufacturing ammunition is just going to be a time / resource sink that isn't particularly meaningful. I almost think Chris put the bug in so this would come up in the community heh.

Possible ways to deal with tier 2+ ammo:

* Just handwave it away, included in cost of weapons (more elenium required per weapon).

* You could have some sort of recharger building in base - so you still have to pay for the building / decide how much ammo to carry into combat, but you have an effective infinite supply when equipping.

* Go back to lasers being infinite ammo, make plasma a tad bit stronger than they currently are but require ammo. As a bonus your starting Plasma weapons could ONLY use alien clips at first, then down the road unlock research to either manufacture your own as is or infinite generate them (some machine that refills spent clips or something). You'd have that almost at a tier but not quite there, and it wouldn't be a "waste" if you researched plasma before laser this way.

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If it was up to me, you'd have to pay for ammo even for basic weapons.

Afte all, the countries give you infinite ammo and missiles, but barely enough funding to have one base? Wait, why do you have to PURCHASE aircraft again? Whouldn't that be free too?

Honestly, I'd like for storage rooms to have limited space and for the player to have to buy basic stuff and manufacture advanced stuff. Of course, balancing the build time so it doesnt' take 10 days to build a laser clip is a must.

The game IS about managing finances and resources, so either give me finances and resources or don't even bother with it.

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I dunno, I like having ammo needing to be manufactured. Its a manufacturing time sink, and that's important. You have only so much manufacturing capacity and setting time to manufacture ammo is time you're not building guns or craft or armour or whatever. Laser cells should require alenium IMO, with plasma taking double that.

Unfinished ammo (having used up the whole clip in combat) I think is meant to be recharged (which is what the ammo bug is caused by). If burst fire was more useful (close range miss bug fixed) running out of ammo would be more important, so it'd be a choice.

Equipping troops with laser or plasma weapons is a manufacturing choice. It'll take about a week of manufacturing time to equip a team of 8 with laser weapons and armour with good manufacturing capacity. You can take out alien with ballistics, its just harder.

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Making ammo isn't really a timesink. I can make plenty of ammo with just one engineer in the same time it takes to build 1 weapon.

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Um, guys? I'm pretty sure that Chris intends for all ammo to be unlimited. There's a post about it somewhere, just can't find it!

EDIT: Found something close to it in the Research Tree discussion.

Edited by Max_Caine

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That's for aircraft missiles and explosives, which you use a ton of. Could you imagine having to make every single missile, grenade and rocket individually?

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Could you imagine having to make every single missile, grenade and rocket individually?

Do I send one interceptor out with improved missiles to take that UFO down, or do I send out two of them with standard missiles to keep down costs, at the expense of leaving me vulnerable to any UFOs that might appear while they're rearming/refuelling/repairing?

Should I use my resources on giving my soldiers laser weapons, or will I be better off improving my AV capabilities?

Are improved grenades important enough to my current strategy to warrant large-scale production, or should I just keep enough around for my best soldiers, to get the most bang for my buck?

My stocks are running low. Should I divert resources to produce more, or is my current project more important?

vs

I only need to send one interceptor to handle this UFO. If another appears, I will not be caught with my pants down.

While I am producing laser weapons, I can equip some more of my soldiers with rocket launchers and improved rockets, so I don't have to worry about being out-gunned.

My current project is important. Luckily, there should be no reason to interrupt it.

My workshop is empty, and my stock of alenium is growing steadily. I am wasting resources, but there is nothing I need to build. I will however be able to respond immediately to any demand.

The problem with free, pure upgrades like the alenium explosives, is that they're boring. They don't introduce any new variables you have to consider, problems you have to overcome or decisions you have to weigh.

Trade-offs adds depth to a game, and makes the experience more enjoyable and challenging overall.

The downside is of course that the trade-off style of upgrades makes it less accessible to the more casual gamers, whom are often more interested in getting into the meat of the game, rather than micromanaging ammunition stocks, resources, etc.

Personally though, I'd prefer having to manufacture all non-terrestrial weapons and equipment, because that's the kind of play style I enjoy the most.

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Um, guys? I'm pretty sure that Chris intends for all ammo to be unlimited. There's a post about it somewhere, just can't find it!

If things like missiles are unlimited and require no manufacturing, I'm struggling to see the logic in why weapon ammo would have to be manufactured. It's works better as an argument the other way :)

I'm still getting used to having unlimited alenium missiles appear simultaneously across the globe. In the same way that medikits automatically update and so do your grenades. I'm still manufacturing things, but that's primarily been due to the vanishing equipment. There's a worry that manufacturing and stores become increasingly hollow, as more and more auto-upgrades to infinite amounts.

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re: where does it come from

* some kind of spent alenium processing building in base

* repurposing spent alien clips

* wherever all the missiles, grenades, and rockets come from?? I mean srsly, we can process grains of alenium effeciently enough for unlimited missiles but need to spend it on laser pistol clips? lol?

I personally like having to scrounge for plasma clips and not just being able to produce them willy nilly at first, giving laser more of a place (aside from rookies due to accuracy). Yes every choice has a cost, but is ammo really meaningful? Buying a jet is important - deciding on each mission whether to use normal or upgraded missiles just sounds like a pain in the ass, having to pull people off the more strategic projects to deal with little ammo bits here and there. It'd also allow for higher requirements for weapons/armor/etc so making one is more of a decision but then you don't get bogged down in the details after.

Obviously there is some frission lost when money is low and you're scraping by and you have to make hard decisions on what to buy, but I personally have been surprised at how pleasant it is to not worry about ammo. As someone said, it is produced quickly and doesn't take up too many resources - so why then not just pay that cost up front with the weapon or just decrease total resources so you don't need the sink? It just ends up feeling somewhat fiddly, and just having to produce it for every new tier doesn't really feel as exciting as the elusive plasma clips of EU94.

Stores are hollow, but I'm generally manufacturing all the time (though this may be because tier3 stuff requires massive workshop space, ~a month per jet).

Edited by erutan

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Back in EU1994 I would generally stick with laser weapons, unless it was an important mission. Partly this was due to there not being a huge supply of them in some games, where I was progressing quickly. So ammo scrounging did have it's place.

but, and it's a big 'un

we can process grains of alenium effeciently enough for unlimited missiles but need to spend it on laser pistol clips? lol?

I don't think it really works well that way.

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Personally I'd like unlimited laser and repurposing alien plasma clips (say something about the density/complicatedness not being able to be replicated - think smaller chip fabs, it's harder to do a 28nm CPU than a 65nm one). Then after you've done your dance of alien clips + unlimited laser for a while you can fab an infinite number of plasma clips on base.

One possible thing would be to make laser weapons % of TUs to fire due to them being able to discharge so much energy in a cycle. Time isn't limited by user competence/attention but how much energy over time it can generate. Just a thought.

One thing I'm not sure of is whether research will have costs. I rather liked this approach in EU12, and it could be a nice way around ammo feeling too "free". Hey, we can repurpose low grade alenium into warheads, but you'll need 60 elenium to do so - we can have a plasma clip reinvigorator/fabricator, but it'll cost 150 elenium, we'll need to test out alien alloys for this new armor so you'll to spend 100 of them during the research process. It makes research more of a tradeoff instead of something you just always have on by default.

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I would prefer upgraded items to be a choice.

Making these new weapons should be something you decide to do, not something that just happens when you finish a research project.

Rockets are a good example.

They could have individual features that mean they may be good in different situations.

Incendiary for area denial, plasma are much larger radius and need to be built.

HE for area damage, alenium upgrade for increased radius but at a price and so on.

Air combat missiles I don't really care much about to be honest.

I am not a big fan of the air combat system so making it simpler so I have to pay less attention to preparing for it doesn't bother me.

I would always have two tiers of missiles available though, the best/most expensive and a lower damage/price alternative.

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there was a good post earlier from someone who was using a certain type of rocket tactically, but that had now gone with the auto-updates. So, I'm all for having viable options that test your load out and strategies rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

That would apply to the alien resistances to things against the ammo types too.

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That might have been me re: rockets - I like the incendiary for night missions (your launcher still comes loaded with one even after they aren't selectable). If you don't want to overdamage aliens, want to light up an area, aren't exactly sure where an alien is it has some nice situational utility over the Elenium/Plasma rockets which have more damage but cover a smaller area.

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That's for aircraft missiles and explosives, which you use a ton of. Could you imagine having to make every single missile, grenade and rocket individually?

Yes actually.

I did it in UFO:AI and it didn't bother me at all.

It would be even simpler if more advanced missiles gradually become avilable on the market or drop in price.

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Laser weaponry was my favourite in X-COM because it didn't require ammunition. I think that says all. I'm okay with "big" guns such as rocket launchers having a limited supply, or maybe even some sort of limit on plasma weapons (such as not being able to manufacture stuff but having to take it from the aliens). Managing every single bullet in every single standard issue pistol every ingame day is too much, though. The XCOM '12 approach might also be worth a look - weapons have unlimited ammo, but need reloading from time to time. I think this adds spice to the combat, but it doesn't turn the game into micro hell.

You know, the best thing would probably be to have options à la Jagged Alliance 2 ("all the guns", or whatever it was called). I believe a substantial part of the Xenonauts community wants micro hell, and I can understand that sentiment. It's just that it wouldn't be my preference, and I guess it's worth it to serve a few more people if you can. Options never hurt anyone.

Edited by The New Romance

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We already sort of have the EU12 approach for ballistics, except you have more generous/standard clip sizes & they aren't infinitely invisibly auto equipped for you. I like the more manual loadout of Xenonauts, the roles streamline the process enough without it having be so limiting as EU12 - given that system it makes sense to keep ammo functioning as ballistics do at the very least. Lasers could work ala EU94 style, plasma run only on captured clips only until you research something that makes it act similarly to ballistics.

Not sure how tier4 should work as I haven't gotten there yet heh.

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Hmm... What about this for a way to make both sides happy, just an idea I'd like to throw out there.

1.) Dramatically increase the costs of all ammo manufacturing, by like a factor of 10.

2.) Also make it so you have to manufacture upgraded explosives, both on the ground and in the air. Also medikits.

3.) Items are not "spent" after missions (even if they're used in-mission). Ditto air weapons. So all thrown grenades, fired bullets, launched missiles, etc, are replaced free.

So you'd still have to spend time and resources manufacturing ammunition, but it wouldn't become a constant drain.

Pros: Easy to understand, essentially infinite ammo, although you'd have to manufacture each clip for increased ammo carry capacity

Cons: Lore explanation shaky (The best explanation is that manufacturing each one comes with a "sufficient" number of replacements manufactured at the same time.)

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My stance is:

build-all-the-things-5638_preview.jpg

buy-all-the-things.jpg

Micro hell? A laughable sentiment.

Because checking out the status of the stores and ordering or buying a few more items is managment hell? Even less so if it can be done easily from the stores screen with a click.

And let's not forget soldiers auto-ressupling. Surely managment hell.

It just doesn't make sense to me. Why infinite missiles? Missiles cost more than soldiers.. Why not infinite soldiers?

Why do we get a budget if the military is giving us infinite supplies for free? Why infinite for X but not for Y?

It's arbitrary and feels very "gamey" to me.

I hate it.

Either build/buy everything or make everything insta-free.

"It's so the player doesn't have to bother with X"? X is half the bloody game.

Hell, why not implement the 2-move system from the new XCom? So the player doesn't have to bother with keeping track of TU's. Or why not limit it to one base. Ya know, so the player doesn't have to bother.

Of course, for this to work you'd actually have to have a working market. You can pretty much only sell stuff, not buy (except aircraft).

Edited by TrashMan

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@waladil - I really don't see that making much sense - just build two clips for everyone you make? Why not just increase the cost of the weapon and be done with it.

@trashman - imho the entire premise of XCOM is sort of silly - that humans can reverse engineer so quickly, that the fate of humanity is so sparsely funded, that a small squad can stop a terror mission etc. I'm personally really impressed at how Chris pulls everything together in the xenopedia. :) I think most of us in the thread feel the game is a little odd now in regards to logistics, but in the end decisions should feed gameplay. Economics are going to be totally fucked in order to make gameplay more interesting - jets start at ~$15 million each, missiles start ~$100,000, would it make sense to be worrying about the cost of ammunition for 8 soldiers?

I personally just don't "miss" manufacturing ammo, it's not really a decision, you're just spreading the cost of ownership out. I guess you're just trying to troll, but it should be pretty obvious that taking away all the clicks to manufacture ammo over the course of the game has a very different strategic impact than restricting the player to one base.

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I think all items should have rouserces (costs, storage room and the likes) attached to them, since this kind of micromanagement is what gave the original a unique flavour, and depth to every decision that you made. I remember how I was contemplating every single rifle clip whom to give it and when to use it, since I know it had a cost, and with each shot my soldiers were paving my way into bankrupcy :) I liked that feeling a lot, since each ammo clip felt valuable and important both during battles and in the trategic planning. In the beta I just stuff my soldiers full with ammo - limit is only their strength and reload withouth conserving ammo and with the exception of one missin where I did two missions after another there were no ammo issues.

Infinite ammo and rockets seems a bit odd because of this and takes away the flavour. Even rockets for planes as swell as fuel should cost money (not to mention repairs) so you would have to think about that before firing away at lesser targets - this would balance things out for an issue with the air combat mentioned in another post listing balancing topics, since air combat would become less predictable as the player would be inclined to use as few rockets and fuel as possible to save resources.

Edited by zolobolo

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Maybe a good middle ground would be a suggestion that was made a while ago (not by me) to allow automatic manufacturing jobs to be set up to keep your stores at a minimum level.

Then if you wanted to not bother with micro managing anything you could tell your manufacturing plant to start manufacturing laser cells when you get below a pre determined stock level.

If you wanted to you could still manually produce however many items you needed and manage that yourself to fine tune your expenditure.

If you couldn't be bothered you just equip your team, see how many items you go through in a normal battle and then set your minimum levels accordingly.

The same could be done for all of the items that currently are given free, like the infinite upgraded air combat missiles.

Rather than being infinite in number you just build a few then set the stores to automatically replace them when expended.

As long as the build time is not excessive, your stock level is set right, and you don't suddenly go through an unexpectedly high amount that system should work well.

You could also mention that this is done automatically and at no cost for the basic Earth tech, explains why you appear to have infinite gear in stock.

You give the command and the quartermaster makes sure you stick to those stock levels.

You would need to watch your cash levels of course to make sure you weren't accidentally burning through it to quickly.

You may have to decide if sticking with the plasma weapons is financially viable or if you could get away with downgrading a couple of people to lasers until your cash builds back up.

I don't think that is a bad thing though.

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@ TrashMan - I'm pretty sure I knew what your stance was before I started reading your posts :)

Overall, yes, I think in the hotfix I'll set the ammo to be unlimited on research as I guess there is a bit of a logic disconnect there. The initial reason why missiles were unlimited and the ammo clips not is that air combat is a much more lightweight and throwaway part of the game, but I guess the principle still applies.

That said, I don't want to make ammo meaningless. I don't think checking that you have enough ammo in your stores before / after a mission is very interesting, but at the moment ammo isn't a decisions. Units don't burn through ammo fast enough for it to be a worry, and the soldier carrying capacity system isn't good enough at the moment to make weight / inventory size a concern either.

I think the answer is to improve the carrying capacity system though. I'm thinking about that now, probably will be a post on it later.

Zolobolo - I think you can transfer much of the cost to the aircraft or the weapons themselves, rather than the ammo. Tied into an improved carrying capacity system, I think that you'll have a similar effect with much less fiddling.

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Could always do what TFTD did. Really small ammo counts per clip :P.

The number of times I scrounged ammo from the dead aliens before the second part of a terror mission ><

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